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Friday, 15 May 2015

Superfood Coconut Chocolate Almond Bars 
gluten free, dairy free

by Robyn Lilley
Perfect for when it is: a full moon, half moon, or quarter moon; hot out, cold out, or for when it is either a weekday....or a weekend. So...basically...... 
....pretty much anytime! Ok, here we gooooooooo! 

I was playing in the kitchen ( as it is my favourite place to be!) and this just sorta happened!  I will definitely be making these again soon, because they were delicious...
but and now they are gone! (sad face!)  I have made them a few times, but this last time I altered the recipe a bit, adding almond butter. I like this version the best!  You can make it nut-free, but it just might not hold together as well, and you'll need to add more dates and/ or maple syrup.

First, you actually make the SECOND layer....and then set aside - the reason is so that you don't have to clean the food processor in-between, because the middle layer is coconut (white) and the bottom layer is brown (chocolate/almond/date.) by making the second layer first, if a little bit of coconut is left in the food processor, no big deal.  Make your life simpler by not having to rinse out the food processor - since it will all be part of the same recipe.  Easy Peasy, my friends!!

Middle layer:
2 cups of unsweetened coconut flakes
2 tbsp coconut sugar 
1 tbsp coconut oil 
2 tbsp raw almond butter (I made mine fresh using my own sprouted dehydrated almonds, but you can use almond butter from a jar - blog post coming soon on how to make your own almond butter!)
pinch of himalayan sea salt 

Add in all the ingredients, whir it up, and scrape down the sides of the food processor as needed - let it go round and round for a while, until the mixture is very smooth and a bit oily.  Maybe do some jumping jacks or yoga while it's going. You'll feel really go girl!   When it's smooth and consistent, scrape out the contents into another bowl and set aside.

Bottom layer:
2 cups raw almonds (I sprouted and dehydrated mine, (blog post coming soon on how to do this - or use what you have on hand.
10 dates - pitted.
2 tbsp raw almond butter
3 tbsp raw cacao powder
1 tbsp mesquite powder (optional - adds a yummy caramel flavour, as well as a BUNCH of great minerals your body needs!)
1 tsp cinnamon powder
1/4 tsp vanilla bean powder (or use splash of vanilla extract!)
pinch sea salt (himalayan)

In food processor, using the S-blade, start processing the 2 cups of almonds.  After about 20 seconds, add in the dates, raw almond butter, cacao powder, mesquite powder, vanilla bean powder, cinnamon and sea salt.  Process until it is well mixed, and the whole mixture looks a bit like dough.  Add the maple syrup last, drizzling in a little tiny bit at a time, (while it is mixing!)   This helps it to stick together, but depending on how fresh/ sticky the dates are will depend on how much maple syrup you need. You want the dough to stick together.  When you grab a little handful, it should stick together.

Top layer:
1/3 cup raw cacao butter
2 tbsp raw cacao powder
1.5 tbsp maple syrup
pinch sea salt

Melt the cacao butter on low heat using a double boiler.  (I actually have this melting before I start the first two layers, so it is all ready to go!)  Once melted, add in the raw cacao powder, maple syrup, and sea salt.  Using a whisk, mix it up well. Taste it. Yummy enough? Perfect!  If not, add a bit more maple syrup.  Too thin? Then add another tbsp cacao powder.  I know this is looking pretty "liquidy" but it will harden up when it's chilled, and it will be sooooo delicious!

Ok putting it all together:
1) Use a pan/ dish with 90 degree angles on it.  Line it with parchment paper - this will make your life so much easier!
Add the bottom chocolatey "dough" layer.  Use another piece of parchment paper to press it down firmly.  Squish, squish, squish it down and smooth it out flat.  Fit it into the corners, and ensure it is evenly pressed.

2) Next, add the second coconut layer.  Do the same as the first, press, press.  Use that top layer of parchment to help you - keeps your hands clean. (Or you will have to lick them!) 
3) Lastly, pour the raw chocolate topping....The chocolate will be liquidy when you pour it, but it will firm up once cold.  Top the dish with chopped almonds, gogi berries, or whatever dried fruit/ nuts you might like. I put almonds on top, so people know that there are almonds IN the case there are allergies. You can also sprinkle with a bit of the raw coconut flakes, and/ or the coconut sugar too:)

4) Put it in the fridge or freezer for at least 10 minutes - to several hours.  Cutting when cold will help to keep the bars together.  You can cut the pieces and arrange them nicely on a plate, or place in cute little flowery muffin cups.  Those are always fun, and people might mistake you for Martha Stewart!

Enjoy, my friends!!!

Interested in more recipes like this?
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Robyn  xo

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